Author Topic: Deb's Baking Steel Journey  (Read 10768 times)

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Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2013, 06:25:12 AM »
So how much did it cost altogether?  I can get a cut of 16X16X1/2 steel for $73(that includes tax), but like you I'm afraid of contamination. Also, can we really be sure the baking steel is safe from lead? I'd assume that it would have to be FDA approved, but I'm no lawyer.

my 16x14x 1/2 was $110,  Andris quoted me a price of $125 for a 16x16x1/2.   I don't know the lead/fda answer ,  you can send an email or get the phone number from the Baking Steel website.  I sent an email with questions and got an answer back really quickly. 

I'm looking forward to seeing your pies with it.


Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2013, 07:01:00 AM »
Deb, whatever room that was, I hope you return to it for future photos  :)

If you're going to make any other style, feel free to do anything you please with the cheese. For NY, though, please grate it. Pretty please :) All the cheese-centric magic of a NY style pizza occurs when the cheese bubbles.  That's when the buttery richness comes alive.  You're already behind the 8 ball when it comes to using supermarket cheese. Without pepperoni or some kind of added fat, it's very difficult to get supermarket cheese to melt well.

Golden brown delicious (GBD) frequently comes up in a crust context, but I've never seen it discussed on this forum from a cheese perspective.  I grew up with pretty pale charred contrasty crusts, so when it comes to GBD vs charred contrasty crusts, I can go either way.  I don't mind the crust contrast I get when broiling, but I prefer the set and forget it aspect of convection baking.  Contrasty cheese, though... cheese that's mostly white with dark brown spots, is a major defect. GBD crust- personal preference. GBD cheese- pure seduction.  Food service grade cheeses/grande clones generally have enough fat content to prevent spotting and encourage bubbling, but supermarket cheeses usually need extra fat, either in the form of oil or pepperoni.

Beyond fat, though, it's critical, for this style, to be grated and to get plenty of heat from below by using the appropriate thickness factor.  Dicing cheese will never get you this:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/2012/10/20121016-williamsburg-pizza-03.jpg

and believe me, you want that.  Nor will it ever achieve this:


I will go back to that room, I haven't posted a lot here but do post on some other food sites and it seems like that light really hates pizza, it's not as bad on other foods.

but, but, but Scott - I posted in the general section ;D   I do want to make a NY but will continue to do some of my own thing.  I'll be sure to grate the cheese for NY.   My goal is to get to Restaurant Depot sometime soon to see what I can get there in a manageable size.  I do have access to Grande but would need to buy a full case which would work if I could get a few people to do a buy with me,  i'm guessing that Barry might be good for some if I got partskim, and I'm going to have to switch back except for an occasional whole milk pie.   

I have to admit that I have never had what I imagine is a good NY slice.  I grew up in NH and pizza was primarily greek until about high school when chains like papa ginos & dominos started opening.  Around here there are several places that call themselves NY but I gave up trying to find something good.  I really have no excuse as I have been in CT for a few years now and just haven't been down to NY that much.

I'm going to play with the convection  a little more,  I haven't figured out how to get the convect to bake at 550, the manual says convect goes to 550 - to me that doesn't mean converting itself to 525.  I did find the calibrate instructions and I can go up another 30 degrees but I'm pretty comfortable with the oven and that would bring a new learning curve for everything else. 

all this and the college kids have said no more pizza! but they ate what I baked 1/2 hour after this statement. 

Online scott123

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2013, 07:55:14 AM »
but, but, but Scott - I posted in the general section ;D   I do want to make a NY but will continue to do some of my own thing.

Deb, this isn't said much, nor is there any kind of sticky for this kind of stuff, so I can understand how you might have missed it, but the only reason to deal with the backbreaking nature of 1/2" steel is for 4 minute NY bakes. That's it.  Any other non Neapolitan style can be done with much lighter materials, such as cordierite or 1/4" steel.  Another piece of information that is implied more frequently than stated is that NY style is my area of interest and it's, as of this moment, the only pizza I bake, so any recipe from me is going to be a hardcore authentic NY style recipe.  When you use my recipe, the pizza should come out of the oven saying "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"  ;D

Seriously, though, regardless of your intent, you just made NY style pizzas that are on par with some of the best in the NY metro area.  If you can get more comfortable with stretching, drop the thickness factor down to .075 and grate your wm cheese, you'll be on par with the best NY style pizzas ever made.  There's nothing wrong with doing your own thing, but it's worth attempting the real deal at least once.  If you thought you had a wow moment before, wait until you get the right TF and cheese melt.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2013, 11:38:42 AM »
Here is a link about removing lead from brass to be used in brewing, I think it would be applicable here for anyone wanting to insure their steel has no surface lead.
http://brewingrabble.com/resources/surface-lead.htm

So how much did it cost altogether?  I can get a cut of 16X16X1/2 steel for $73(that includes tax), but like you I'm afraid of contamination. Also, can we really be sure the baking steel is safe from lead? I'd assume that it would have to be FDA approved, but I'm no lawyer.
-Jeff

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2013, 07:01:28 PM »
Deb, this isn't said much, nor is there any kind of sticky for this kind of stuff, so I can understand how you might have missed it, but the only reason to deal with the backbreaking nature of 1/2" steel is for 4 minute NY bakes. That's it.  Any other non Neapolitan style can be done with much lighter materials, such as cordierite or 1/4" steel.  Another piece of information that is implied more frequently than stated is that NY style is my area of interest and it's, as of this moment, the only pizza I bake, so any recipe from me is going to be a hardcore authentic NY style recipe.  When you use my recipe, the pizza should come out of the oven saying "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"  ;D

Seriously, though, regardless of your intent, you just made NY style pizzas that are on par with some of the best in the NY metro area.  If you can get more comfortable with stretching, drop the thickness factor down to .075 and grate your wm cheese, you'll be on par with the best NY style pizzas ever made.  There's nothing wrong with doing your own thing, but it's worth attempting the real deal at least once.  If you thought you had a wow moment before, wait until you get the right TF and cheese melt.


;D I'll be nice to your recipe from now on

imo, my style (whatever that may be) will benefit from the quicker bake also.  I do plan on getting the NY down,  I like to change it up occaisonally and it's something I want to do.  Along with getting to NY and eating some real pizza so I know what I'm really aiming for .   



Seriously, though, regardless of your intent, you just made NY style pizzas that are on par with some of the best in the NY metro area.  If you can get more comfortable with stretching, drop the thickness factor down to .075 and grate your wm cheese, you'll be on par with the best NY style pizzas ever made. 

Thank you


Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2013, 12:34:26 PM »
working from home, very quick bake (turned the oven on while getting coffee :D)

steel on middle rack,  fibrament on rack right above fan,  convection at 525,  steel was 545 at launch,  pulled right about 4 minutes ,  need to move the steel up one notch

(still the cheese from above, threw it in food processor and pulsed some)




Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2013, 12:40:19 PM »
Deb - I am really digging what you have been doing with the Baking Steel. I may purchase one after seeing your fantastic results. Thank you for documenting.

John

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2013, 12:53:03 PM »
thanks John,  I would love to see what you could do with one

Offline sb 44 champs

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2013, 04:16:05 PM »
Nice looking pies. I recently purchased two 12x12x1/4 A36 steel plates. Only have he change to use them a couple of times, but the results were much better than the cast iron pizza pan I had been using.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2013, 09:26:39 PM »
Smoked a couple pork butts on Sunday, leftovers to be used and also had a couple dough balls left.
Long preheat, broiler for a few minutes, launched about 620 degrees,  didn't get the time

Very thin layer of homemade bbq sauce, smoked mozzarella, pulled pork and some scallions



Offline TomN

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2013, 12:42:00 AM »
Hi Deb,

I have never used a pizza stone, but your pies make me want to go get one. Thanks for posting the photos.

TomN

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2013, 06:52:09 AM »
thanks sb champs & tomn

Online scott123

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2013, 07:22:52 AM »
The magic photo taking room.  Nice  ;D

Let me guess, you're back to using the broiler during the bake, correct?  It looks, from the previous bake, that convection can't quite cut it on it's own. It's a solid looking pie and the undercrust is very pretty, but the top, on the previous convection only bake, as I'm sure you noticed, is a bit anemic.

I wouldn't completely give up on convection only baking. There may be a shelf where the convection impacts the top a bit more.  Did the fan stay on the whole time?

If you like the ease of not having to fuss with the broiler during the bake, there's one more option to supplement the convection and brown the top a bit faster.  Ceramic tiles.  Get some 1/4" tiles from Home Depot and arrange them on a shelf 4" above the plate.  Any tile will do. Since it won't be contacting food, it can be glazed.  Fill almost the whole shelf, but leave a gap on all sides for air flow.  Between the slight bump in top heat you get from the tiles, along with the convection feature, I think the top should brown just as fast as the bottom.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2013, 10:13:04 AM »
I had a friend over so I went with the tried & true broil.  I have one more test that I want to do with the convection before I give up on it.  I'm going to move the steel and stone closer together bit still in the fan area to see if it will help with the evenness using convection.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 12:03:05 PM by deb415611 »

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2013, 10:14:18 AM »
Didn't see the second part of your post will reply later

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2013, 10:53:19 AM »
If you like the ease of not having to fuss with the broiler during the bake, there's one more option to supplement the convection and brown the top a bit faster.  Ceramic tiles.  Get some 1/4" tiles from Home Depot and arrange them on a shelf 4" above the plate.  Any tile will do. Since it won't be contacting food, it can be glazed.  Fill almost the whole shelf, but leave a gap on all sides for air flow.  Between the slight bump in top heat you get from the tiles, along with the convection feature, I think the top should brown just as fast as the bottom.

Scott - I have been using an empty blue steel pan about 4 inches above the pie. Do you think the ceramic tiles would be a better solution? Which material is best for this scenario?

John

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2013, 11:53:19 AM »
Scott - my fibrament is larger than the steel, do you think I need to cover the entire shelf above the steel?  or do you think just the stone larger than the steel will be enough.   I have quarry tiles that I use on the grill, I'll bring them in.

Offline mvd

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 07:39:19 PM »
Deb,

That barbecue pizza looks incredible. Especially since you actually smoked the meat, making it real barbecue!

This has been a fun and interesting thread to follow. Probably not as fun as getting to consume the results, however!
Mike

Offline deb415611

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2013, 07:33:25 AM »
thanks Mike

Online scott123

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Re: Deb's Baking Steel Journey
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2013, 07:48:27 AM »
Scott - I have been using an empty blue steel pan about 4 inches above the pie. Do you think the ceramic tiles would be a better solution? Which material is best for this scenario?

John, assuming that you've still got your Wolf oven and are using it's convection feature, your question brings us into an interesting theoretical realm- specifically, thermal mass and it's impact on radiation. This isn't like one of those cheap, relatively worthless, single ply steel domed ovens with no insulation, where it's practically impossible to maintain a dome temp for producing fast bakes. There's no insulation above your pan, but, thanks to your convection fan, the pan is enveloped in flowing hot air and should be at or near the peak temp of the oven.  My gut feeling is that as you open the oven to load the pie, even for a short time, the blue steel pan will most likely drop a tiny bit further in temp than 1/4" tiles and this might impact top browning. Maybe.  Tiles are inexpensive, and, unlike the elusive quarry tiles, regular glazed tiles are easily found so my suggestion is to give it a try.

Although I wasn't specific with Deb before regarding color, your mention of blue steel reminded me of the importance of a black glaze, since darker colors are better emitters.

Scott - my fibrament is larger than the steel, do you think I need to cover the entire shelf above the steel?

Deb, a stone and/or tiles that are larger than the steel plate is great. Since you've got a 14 x 16 plate, then a I'd say a 16 x 20 ceiling, or even 15 x 17 ceiling would work nicely.  I would make sure you've got an extra .5" on all sides, though.

As far as the fibrament goes, though, the size is fine, but the thickness, unfortunately, is not.  Some thermal mass might be a good thing (see above), but we can definitely have too much- and a .75" fibrament is too much.  Anything you put in an oven will absorb heat. The steel can be fully pre-heated in half an hour, but the fibrament might not be fully pre-heated for another 45 minutes past that. 1/4" tiles aren't going to absorb that many joules, but I wouldn't go thicker than that, and, like I told John above, buy tiles with a black glaze, if possible.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 07:56:52 AM by scott123 »


 

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